96.1 FM, 780 AM, Yours for Western Alaska

July 1971: Thanks to a nurse, a last-minute fix

Sally Duggan, Kitty Orris, and Ida Schilter

Sally Duggan, Kitty Orris, and Ida Schilter: three of the 71 nurses who, during KNOM’s first 15 years, supported the station by donating their entire salary to the radio mission. The nurses worked at Nome’s hospital but lived in KNOM’s volunteer housing.

July 13, 1971

One day before scheduled sign-on, a copper strap burns apart in the antenna tuning unit, removing the antenna from the transmitter. Six small resistors burn in the transmitter’s final section. In isolated Nome, they are impossible to replace.

However, support nurse Kitty Orris (pictured, in the middle of the photo) has just escorted a patient to Anchorage, where she is able to purchase the parts for transport by air the next morning.